Night Ascents

Have an interesting or epic climbing story? Post it here.
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Postby Floyd » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:59 am

Never had a night ascent, but did have a night descent.

Summited Handies for sunset and descended in the dark. Not quite on topic but it was a great experience. I had to brag.

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Postby dustj » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:07 am

I did Yale last summer with a group of four other guys and Huron the week after with a friend. Those were some of the most rewarding times on trail. There's nothing like seeing God's glory as the sun rises over the range at 14k.
A voice is calling, "clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness"
-Isaiah 40:3

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Postby Doug Shaw » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:30 am

dustj wrote:There's nothing like seeing God's glory as the sun rises over the range at 14k.

Actually I suspect it's fairly similar to watching the sun rise at 13,900'. :)

I've sauntered up Bierstadt a couple times at night, and climbed 80% of Yale at night but was going so slow (big pack) and was so tired up to the final saddle that I ended up summiting about an hour after sunup. I also descended Pacific Peak's long, rugged east ridge alone in the dark, which was an ... interesting ... experience.

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Postby Cruiser » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:55 am

FYI for those interested in a night climb: the Lyrids meteor shower is supposed to peak this Saturday night between midnight Staurday and sunrise Sunday. The moon should set shortly after midnight which would allow for some fairly good viewing. The Lyrids are not a particularly great shower since the meteor rates average only about 10 to 20 per hour, but at 14k on a fairly clear night every one of them should be clearly visable. If the weather is looking good I might climb a fairly easy peak and watch the shower and the sunrise. There's nothing like a 14er sunrise.
Where ever you are... There you are.


Postby CG_old » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:51 pm

Oh sweet! There's a chance I may be doing an all-night 40 mile run this weekend... that would be perfect w/ the meteor showers. Thanks for the head's up!

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Postby joe4186 » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:13 pm

yes, did shavano pk. last may. We planned it under full moon. Started at 1ish and caught summit a little before sunrise. Was a good time. Almost lost trail 6 or 7 times, but ended up all good.

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Postby Chicago Transplant » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:09 pm

On the two full moon peaks I have done (Grays and Humboldt) no head lamp was necessary. The moon glow and shadows were really cool and almost made it feel more like I was on the moon. I have also skied Meadow Mountain in Minturn several times in a full moon. Its best just after a fresh snow when the moon glistens on the snow! Again, no headlamp required! Its really quite peaceful and enjoyable, and if you stick to a class 1 route not dangerous.

Below treeline it can get tricky to see w/o the lamp, so the best peaks for full moon hikes are the ones with high trailheads so you can enjoy the moonlit trail all the way to the top. Check the lunar calendar and see what time the moon rise is for the best timing. I think the first week of May is the next full moon.

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Postby Piker » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:50 pm

You have now given me one more quest for this summers climbs. I have never done one and it sounds like a ton of fun.

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Postby mainpeak » Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:04 pm

Do most people find that hiking at night is better with a full moon so you can see where you are going, or with no moon to allow for better star gazing?

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Postby jwproulx » Thu May 03, 2007 1:41 pm

Antero -

This was part of a backpacking trip up to Browns Lake. About 6 of us met at the trailhead on a Friday night, and we hiked up to meet some others who had set up camp a ways in. That "ways in" turned out to be about 2 miles; three of us wanted to go higher, so we kept hiking and got to the lake around 3:00 am or so. Since we were already there, we decided just to take a shot at Antero. We headed up a scree slope on the south side of Mt. White. In the dark, looking at the map in the dim light, we didn't realize what a horrible slope it would be. We were dead tired and it took a loooong time to get to the summit. We just missed the sunrise. It was pretty chilly up there, but beautiful in the morning light. When we got back to the lake at about 11:00 am, the others STILL weren't there! We slept a whole bunch.

Sherman -

After being back East for a week, I drove in to Boulder at about 3:00 am, slept, and somehow woke up faily early. I went out to lunch with some friends, and then decided that, though tired, I needed to climb something. So I drove to the trailhead on the east side of the peak, about 2 miles east of the Sacramento town site. It's not used very much, but it's a beautiful route. I started hiking about 5:00 pm and just missed the sunset from the summit. I descended without a headlamp (I forgot it in my haste; I suspected I had before I started hiking, but didn't worry about it because of the moon, which was just past full). I had a bit of difficulty descending over White Mountain in the hour or so of darkness between sunset and moonrise, but I didn't ever need to look at a compass: I just used the light of Fairplay, directly to the east. I didn't see a soul the whole trip. It was a rather absurd but completely enjoyable way to climb a much-maligned mountain.

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Postby Jim Davies » Thu May 03, 2007 2:20 pm

I once tried to hike the Barr Trail up Pikes Peak at night. I started about 11 pm, intending to reach the summit around sunrise. I hiked without any lights for a few hours, with only one little missed turn, and felt pretty strong. However, about 2 am and five or six miles in, my brain started to short-circuit or something from the lack of stimulation. The bushes and trees along the trail started to look like they were moving in the dark, and after it started seriously freaking me out I decided to turn around. Interestingly, on the lower few miles of the descent (below the incline turnoff) I had to shield my eyes from the city lights in order to see the trail; other than that I didn't really feel the need to use my flashlight at any point during the night. You can actually see pretty well in the dark if you give it a chance; there's usually a little bit of light around, and a good trail (like Barr) will show up pretty plainly.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin

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Postby rollin » Thu May 03, 2007 6:00 pm

Thanks for the idea on this post. I have to put this on my things to do.


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